There is a lack of research when it comes to behavior health within the Hmong community, especially the Hmong LGBTQIA community. Are you Hmong American and do you identify as LGBTQIA? Would you be interested in being apart of this research? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview. You must be 18 and over to participate in the research. For your time and participation, you will have a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card. Furthermore, this study aims to begin to fill a gap in the academic literature by providing insights into the unique challenges that LGBTQ Hmong Americans face in the U.S.
James Her is from Sacramento, California. He is the first in his family to obtain a professional degree. He received his undergraduate degree in 2014 from Humboldt State University in Sociology, and Criminology and Justice Studies. Currently he is a Master of Social Work (MSW) candidate at the University of Washington. He is in the process of completing his master’s thesis on Mental Health Within the Hmong American LGBTQ Community. He is currently interning at Asian Referral Counseling Services (ACRS) as a behavioral health therapist. He is also a research assistant for the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) and an active member of South East Asian Education Coalition (SEAeD). Upon completing his MSW he would like to go into direct practice and hope to pursue his PhD in the near future.
A couple of years ago, I met someone I really wanted to be with and it was love at first sight. When I confessed to her my feelings, she told me she liked me as well but was too afraid to fall in love with me. We saw each other for a month then she stopped talking to me and I didn’t understand what I did wrong. It made me feel like a fool.
Ever since I was young, I suffered from deep depression and it continued into my twenties. After we stopped seeing each other, my depression returned. I drowned myself into music and did not understand why we couldn’t work. I also began throwing my heart to people who I knew weren’t interested in me. Through my depressing Facebook posts, a close friend contacted me and I came out and confided in her about my relationship troubles. After we talked, I collected myself and compiled this list that helped me get through my breakup and depression. I also wanted to share my personal reflection thoughts that helped me through my process of working through a breakup. I hope my reflections will encourage people to also make time to reflect if they are experiencing depression or in the midst of looking for themselves.
There were many warning signs that our values and relationship practices didn’t align, but I was swept away into the “love at first sight” so I kept telling myself she was “the one.”
I’m glad the break up happened and I had friends who were there to talk and support me through the process, and now I’m thankful that she is no longer in my life.
MY PERSONAL REFLECTIONS
My previous actions were not “stupid” (whether I was broken hearted or not). It was a learned experience for my own self growth.
Watch out for warning signs, if someone says they are “too scared to fall in love” or “think we are moving too fast” regardless if they say they like you a lot, thank them and move on. My friend stated, “You don’t want to be with someone for two years then they cheat on you and say I wasn’t in love with you till you kept chasing me.”
Don’t feel stupid after following your intuition (whether I was broken hearted or not), if you think someone might like you and confess to them, and in the end they didn’t like you. It’s fine. You saw the correct signs and took action based on it.
It is okay to leave your heart on your sleeve, that’s just the person you are. You just keep loving and if that person brings you down, it wasn’t meant to be. At the end of the day, you need to pick yourself back up and start over.
Find someone who compliments your life, not someone that brings it down. (Throughout my dating experience, I’ve always fallen for people who were “broken” and their actions were probably unclear, they never complimented my life. They made it more complicated.)
Keep continuing on the journey to self-love.
Dee is a 26 year old workaholic living in NoCal.
Celebrate June PRIDE Month by contributing your narrative to be part of AAPI LGBTQ PRIDE Narrative Series. If you identify as AAPI LGBTQ and want to contribute your narrative or have questions, please email Linda for more information – email@example.com